Sunday, March 3, 2013

6 Months: Training - Day 49

Emma the troublemaker.
I must apologize for the lateness of this post.  I have had a very full weekend and this is the first chance I've had to sit and work on the blog.  This is Friday's post for Emma's blog.  What is exciting is this post is being written on my brand new IPad using my brand new Bluetooth keyboard for it.  I bought the IPad because of a conversation on the Training Levels List regarding my training of Emma for her handler.  A member of the list had asked if I was training Emma to respond to computerized voices and I realized I had not done that yet, but needed too.  Why would I need to train Emma to respond to a computerized voice?  Emma's handler is primarily non-verbal and has mobility issues with his hands and arms - therefore to help him better communicate with her we will be training her to respond to his speaking device.  In order to do this training I would need a portable method for using a computerized voice to cue her with - thus the IPad.  The added advantage is I can better manage my blog posts, client information and schedule with the device also.

Emma's week ended with me exhausted.  With her in full blown teen mode and finding nothing but trouble around every corner I found myself back at a stage in life I had thought I left long behind.  It's the toddler stage in humans where the moment you turn your back they are sticking their finger in a light socket or racing around the neighborhood naked or flushing something down the toilet.  I spent the final two days of the week managing her to keep her from stealing my knitting projects, which she managed to do twice when I had to step out of the room for a few seconds, or chewing on something she shouldn't, such as my Spider plant, or pestering Attitude and Dieter by either charging Dieter while he was laying on the back of my recliner or standing over the top of Attitude to see if Attitude would tell her to knock it off.

I spent the entire week hearing myself saying, "Get off that Dachshund" or "leave the cat" or "what do you have now?".  It was a week of turn your head for a second and the puppy went into self destruct mode and began eating or challenging everything!

So, this coming week will be spent with a Labradoodle teenager tethered to me to prevent my correcting behavior after it occurred and instead rewarding behavior I want.  It is unfair to her to set her up to fail when it only takes a bit more effort on my part to set her up to succeed.

Fortunately this stage in life is short and only requires a bit of work on my part to lessen the impact on my property and animals.  I will find more things for her to do in her down time to occupy her mind and keep her from finding ways to annoy her house companions.

Until then, Max, Attitude, Dieter, Victoria and I have enjoyed a weekend of relaxation.  I haven't even bothered to clean my house, like I normally do.  I took Max with me to evaluate a dog for someone on Saturday and today, Sunday, he spent half of his day playing at Auntie Ronda's house and running around her yard.

Today's Lesson's:


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 3 Sit. In this step Emma is asked to wait for an increasing amount of time between clicks. Since I was introducing the idea of duration in Sit today, I decided to start with walking around her and away from her a few times to give her the idea she was to keep her position and wait for the click. As she became comfortable with that I then moved a foot away from her and began to count in one second increments. We were able to get up to 5 seconds before Emma would move. I would reset to zero seconds and build back up until she could sit for up to 10 seconds. Emma needs more practice with this concept.


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 5 Target. In this step Emma is asked to close a cabinet door with her nose. She is closing the cabinet door, but not consistently. The amount of nose pressure applied each time has a wide range currently and therefore the door is sometimes not even moved when she brushes her nose on it. What this means is she's not certain what I am asking of her and she needs to continue to work on this concept until she is confident and consistent.

Lazy Leash

Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 Lazy Leash. In this step Emma is asked to walk a few steps with me and then stop and wait a few seconds beside me while working off leash. I am still working on Emma walking beside me consistently and will continue to reward her for walking at my left side in the loose leash zone until she is consistent and confident.


Emma is turning into a bold and confident young lady. She enjoys playing with toys and training and exploring her boundaries. At this time she needs extra supervision to prevent her from developing bad habits when left to choose her own activities. This will be a trying time, but one in which a lot of growth and maturity will occur and I look forward to watching her grow.

Level 1
StepCompletedCompleted CompletedCompletedCompleted
Level 2
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

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